I have just had a building and pest report done for a property I am purchasing in Brisbane.
There are a couple of things that are concerning me that I would like to get some advice on.
The report states that there was historical termite activity around the house. The damage is nothing serious, but the report suggests I have chemical termiite barrier put around the house. I have no idea how much this would cost, I intend on calling around to ask tomorrow, but was wondering if anyone has any ideas how expensive this will be?
The report also states that the building inspector is fairly certain that the downstairs toilet and shower are not council approved! This is quite a worry. What are my options in this scenario? Would I need to contact the council for them to come and do an inspection- which could potentially result in them telling me to rip the bathroom out?? What does one do in such a situation!
I really want to purchase the property, but I need to know what I am headed for financially/legally if I do go ahead with it.
HI there in relation to the termites – it is quite usual to have some form of termite activity on a property in QLD – treatment does vary in price but you can expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars – your report should have given you an estimate for a treatment as for the unapproved items – depending upon what has been disclosed in the contract – you can either state that the building report is unsatisfactory and use it as a bargaining tool to have the price dropped (to reflect the costs of having the toilet and shower approved – ring Council to get a ball park figure – or a plumber who can give you an idea of the likely costs to get the approval) or you could try and get the Vendor to get the approval for the shower and toilet prior to settlement – or else you state you will withdraw from the contract. I note that I personally prefer to have the first option as I have some control over the contractors used – and it avoids problems with delays with the Vendor or Council
On one property we had a barrier treatment done and cost around $1500. Also had some baits put around the garden. I think you can just do baits which would be cheaper. Just remember to get an inspection every two years.
Telling the council could also result in them telling the existing owners to pull it out! I would suggest you talk to the building inspector. I'm sure he would understand how the council in that area operates and what's the best course of action.
Thanks for the advice. I am going to have a chat to the inspector today and find out why he thinks the bathroom is not council approved. I will then have a chat to the real estate and my solicitor to find out what can be done.
While you are talking to the building inspector ask him what the council requires when illegal building works are found. In our council you can buy the property with unapproved work without having to repair or remove it (unless it is deemed hazardous). But as it is noted on the contract it can have an impact on insurance claims (if a claim is lodged from damaged caused by, or to, illegal work). For this reason I would want to be absolutely sure that the inspector has given you accurate info. If the fittings look old then the work may not be recent and could have been done during a time when council laws weren't as strict. If the fittings look fairly modern then you could ask the local council if there has been a building permit issued for the property within the last 7-10 years (your solicitor would find this info out for you anyway). Check the work on the shower in particular as you wont want any water issues if a home handyman did the work. The quality of workmanship may have been the indicator to the building inspector.
Handspray chemical barriers are usually the cheapest and last for between 7-10 years depending on how much water you get around your house. If you home is on stumps it is easy to respray when it is deemed necessary by your pest inspection. If you have a slab then you can still have a chemical spray done and provided the soil is not disturbed or watered (gardens) this would also last for some years and be the cheapest option. I won't give you the prices we pay as we are in Vic and they may not be comparable. Good luck. Julie Fisher Daryl Fisher Homes